Questions of Cash: Scottish Power owed me money but I couldn't get the message through
Friday 17 January 2014
Q. I am trying to obtain an up-to-date bill from Scottish Power. I have an online account, but for over a month the website has displayed a 'temporary' problem preventing me accessing my account. I have made three requests for a bill, left messages on Facebook and tried countless times to phone.
Emails receive the response that I will be contacted within five days. I have sent a letter of complaint, but there was no reply. I am single, work long hours, have gas central heating, use a shower rather than a bath and live in a small terraced house. I pay by direct debit, but I believe I am in credit, as the amount taken from my account – £145 a month – seems far too high. I am interested in switching provider, but I want to be refunded whatever is owed to me. JM, Birmingham.
A. Scottish Power confirms you have overpaid your account and apologises for your difficulties. A spokeswoman says: "The issue with [the] online account seems to have been caused by an error with her email address. This has now been corrected. There is a credit balance of £461.18. We have arranged for a full refund and also a goodwill payment of £50 for the delay in responding to her enquiry. [The reader's] gas consumption seems to be quite high [so we have offered] some energy efficiency advice, [but] this was declined." You should now be in a position to compare energy costs from suppliers. It would be sensible to also obtain energy efficiency advice.
Dogfight with Sainsbury's over our pet insurance
Q. We adopted a Jack Russell terrier, Joss, in 2005. In 2006, it was diagnosed with Addison's disease. We paid vet bills of £2,000 and took out pet insurance with Sainsbury's Finance, which excluded cover for treatment related to Addison's. In 2008, Joss was again ill and as the illness was not connected with Addison's, the insurance policy covered treatment costs. After that, the monthly premium rose from under £16 and by the end of 2012 was £57.69. I complained in 2011 at the cost and was given £30 in Sainbsury's shopping vouchers, but the premiums continued to rise.
In July 2013, Joss was again taken ill. Our vet diagnosed a renal problem and put her on a drip. This cost us £510.70. The vet said the illness was nothing to do with Addison's, but Sainsbury's has not met our claim. Initially, it said this was because it had contacted our vet, who did not respond. I spoke to the vet, who said he had not been contacted by Sainsbury's. Then in October we were told the claim had been rejected as the illness was "the same as an illness or injury that showed clinical signs before your pet's cover started". We have appealed and the vet supports us. We have been told it could take three months for the appeal to be decided and our policy is now up for renewal. I have asked Sainsbury's why we should renew the policy in these circumstances, but it has not replied. PS, Buckinghamshire.
A. Sainsbury's Bank apologises. A spokeswoman says: "We initially turned down [the reader's] claim as Addison's can be a condition linked to renal disease, which Joss had previously suffered, thereby making it a pre-existing condition. We did, however, request further information from the vet so we could investigate the matter further and confirm if the two ailments were connected, so we could process the claim. Unfortunately, it turns out that the vet never received our request. This resulted in the delay in settlement. We have now paid the claim and are very sorry we did not pay it sooner. As well as our best wishes, we have sent [the reader] a cheque for £80 for his family's distress and inconvenience."
Out of pocket on car sale after auto trader ad mix-up
Q . I put my car up for sale in Auto Trader. It should have been listed as a Volkswagen Golf V5, but instead the website generated a listing for a Golf Sport TDI DPF Diesel. I did not choose this. When this was published, I requested a correction, but was told this was impossible. Auto Trader is in breach of its contract, as the description was incorrect. It has acknowledged poor customer service and refunded the advertising fee of £56 and offered a £50 goodwill payment, but the car sold for £500 below its market value, so this is not adequate. MA, by email.
A. Auto Trader rejects your argument. A spokesman says: "When a customer places an advert, the information they enter will automatically bring up details of the vehicle. Sometimes the details we hold may differ slightly, so the customer has the option to select a variant. Our records indicate the customer selected a 2.0 Sport TDI DPF 5dr diesel hatchback rather than the 2.0 GT Sport TDI 170 DPF 5dr diesel hatchback. That meant the [information] included in the advert text was incorrect. However, our team failed to respond to [the reader's] complaint, or identify what had happened, quickly enough. When the issue was identified, a full refund for the advert was offered, plus an amount as a gesture of goodwill. [The reader] declined this. As a result of this complaint, our team has been retrained to ensure customer inquiries are dealt to standard expected."
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we'll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...
£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
Day In a Page
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads